MaryRuth Books, founded in 2001, is dedicated to encouraging and empowering emerging and developing readers. These are books parents and teachers can use with beginning and progressive readers. That is, they can be shared with preschoolers as stories and at the same time help them build vocabulary to some day read on their own.
MaryRuth Books titles are photo-illustrated books that emphasize high-frequency words using a natural speaking language, as these are books to be read aloud. The company pays special attention to the way our text is spaced with appropriate spaces that enhance word recognition for the emerging reader.
"Our full color photograph illustrations attract even disinterested readers who can identify with Danny’s and Bee’s escapades," says President Mia Coulton. "The text uses high frequency words and natural oral language for vocabulary building." Rather than having us talk about the company, we'll let Mia share her story.
Terry: How did you come to be involved in the children's publishing industry? What is your role within the industry?
Mia: During my fulfilling career for more than 14 years as a Reading Recovery specialist, I noticed the children and I lacked witty, engaging reading material. So when I identified a need for more early reading books with which young children could identify, I set out to create a publishing company to produce this type of book, suited to a child’s sense of humor.
So in 2001 I began writing about my dog, Danny, using vocabulary required by beginning readers and using photographs that I took of him in amusing costumes and situations. Although Danny, a yellow Labrador, is put into similar situations as young children, his ability to overcome fear and surprises encourages Juvenile readers to find optimism and bravery in their daily routine.
Terry: We'd love to hear more about what you're doing at MaryRuth Books. What are some of the most popular items that you've published in the last three years?
Mia: I design all the categories of books to help emerging readers become comfortable and more accomplished with each level. Our ever popular non-fiction Farm Animals series has added Horse Colors and Cows.”
Terry: In looking at the current front list and the upcoming season, are there any specific themes that you've focused on in the catalog?
Mia: Some of the titles in the Fall 2012 catalog represent the 10th Danny Series, Oh, Danny Boy. Some books contain themes that young readers experience like Tummy Trouble, Picture Day at School and one of the new list favorites, Danny is a Big Dog, which finds Danny dealing with an often annoying little dog and smaller friend.
Terry: Do you have a personal favorite from the current catalog that isn't getting lots of 'buzz'? What is it about that book that sets it apart for you?
Mia: I think that the book Moving is especially useful for children and adults who feel anxiety when contemplating a forthcoming move to a new home, school and neighborhood. Although Danny has only lived in one house, he seems to manage the adjustment and help his friend Abby as well.”
Terry: What is the book that has been the biggest surprise to you?
Mia: Our extremely useful, standalone title is Danny’s Resource Guide for instructors and parents. It has recently been reprinted to include newly assigned Reading Recovery levels confirmed by two years of in classroom testing. It contains activities for writing assignments, journal tracking for a young reader’s progress and plenty of photographs to reference the corresponding MaryRuth Books.
Terry: What's next for MaryRuth Books? Do you have any new series or product lines on the horizon?
Mia: The new Fall-Winter 2012-2013 list contains six brand new Danny titles and a couple of Farm Animals non-fiction books, Horses Colors and Cows. We expect to be adding more chapter books for our loyal fans and those discovering MaryRuth Books.
Terry: On a more personal note, who or what turned you into a reader? [e.g. a specific book or character, a teacher, a parent, an uncle, etc.]
Mia: I learned to read with the Dick and Jane series and loved the simple text. But, Spot the dog, was the reason that it became such a personal favorite.
Terry: Have you had the opportunity to personally share your books with the target audience? Do you have a favorite experience? What have kids taught you about publishing books for young readers?
Mia: In so many notes from special reading teachers who have gained successful results with our books, they include students’ messages directed to Danny. By using photographs instead of illustrations, children realize that he’s a real active dog, our star and that he shares many human qualities as young children. Young readers become dedicated readers by understanding through words, that Danny’s sweetness and follies make him a special literary character.
Terry: Thank you, Mia. We appreciate you taking the time to share Mary Ruth Books' story!
When you explore the MaryRuth Books titles available on Big Universe, you can see that they have traditional picture book ("5.5 x 5.5") and easy reader (6" x 9") shapes ... perfect for being held by little hands. When you view a title on www.MaryRuthBooks.com, you can get the book size; page and word count; and reading level. When you preview and read the title on Big Universe, you'll also get details about themes, audience, and read-alikes.
Contact: MaryRuth Books, Inc.
18660 Ravenna Road Building 2
Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
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